Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Little Camellia That Could by Michelle Styles

About 20 years ago, I planted a camellia in the garden. It was in flower then from what I can recall and was a Mothering Sunday present from my three very young children.. I thought it was in a good spot.
I have always liked camellias and so was delighted to have one in a garden where I knew I’d be around for a long time. We had always had camellias in the garden when I was growing up -- there were one of my mother's and grandmother's favourite flowers. They always remind me of California. After getting married, I moved to Northumberland England, near Hadrian's Wall.  I looked forward to blooming again as it was a thoughtful gift.
The camellia out May 2018
 Year after year, I’d wait for it to bloom and it never did.  I added a second camellia (a white one) and planted it next to the camellia whose blossoms I could no longer really recall. 
I blamed the frost, the fact that where we live is probably on the edge of its growth zone. The plants kept getting larger and putting on more leaves but no flowers.
This year, my husband said enough was enough. Even though we had the space, it had not done anything there and it probably would not survive transplanting. So I took some cuttings to see if I could salvage it that way.
Then on Sunday, I went down to see how the rhododendrons were doing and to my amazement, the camellia was actually flowering!  It had taken a long time but it was worth it. The white camellia is also about to bloom.
It may be that it isn’t the best spot for them and I do have the cuttings I started to try again somewhere else, but I finally camellias blooming in my garden.
And this minor miracle showed resilience and persistence on the camellias’ part. Sometimes, it just does take patience. I think it is a metaphor my writing  -- never give up and keep doggedly trying.
In other news:
My editor let me know that they are buying my 27th historical romance for Harlequin Historical – another Viking set romance and we agreed the idea I should be pursuing for the 28th one. More details as and when I get them.

Michelle Styles writes warm, witty and intimate historical romance for Harlequin Historical in a wide range of time periods, most recently Viking. Her latest The Warrior's Viking Bride was published in March 2018 and received 4 stars from the RT magazine. You can learn more about Michelle and her books at 

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

how nice the camellia is finally blooming.

congratulations on the contracts for your next books!